Oh, I’ve been looking forward to this one because there’s something I’ve been waiting to point out.
Live watch / Plot
Bashir does the intro. He and O’Brien have been working overtime to prepare for a new cartographer, Melora. She’s the first Aloran to join Starfleet, and requires special accommodations. She needs a wheelchair, so they basically have to make the station wheelchair accessible.
This is because she is from a low gravity planet. She’s quite determined to be independent, which I generally approve of, but it is bound to spark some contention or it will be a pretty boring episode. Intro.
Woah, I just saw that the guest star, Melora is played by Daphne Ashbrook, and I was trying to remember where I knew that name from. She was in the TV movie of Doctor Who starring Paul McGann as The Doctor!
Quarks is in the middle of a business transaction when someone he knows from his past enters the bar, and states that he’s come to kill Quark. He has a freaky proboscis that connects to his chin.
Well, she’s certainly trying to be strong, independent, handicapped woman, and Bashir seems to be melting her with his charms. So far, so good. Meanwhile, Quark is wining and dining his would-be killer, in an attempt to appease him. Bashir and Melora go to a Klingon restaurant, where she talks back to the Klingon proprietor, proving how tough she really is in that wheelchair. It’s a rather fun scene, though.
The next day when Dax goes to Meet Melora for their mission, she finds that she had a little oopsie in a supply room.
You see, Cardassians didn’t design the station with wheelchairs in mind, because they are evil Nazis that don’t care about cripples! Except, wait, no. This is an absolutely ridiculous design for non-wheelchair bound persons, let alone wheelchair access. Seriously, why would you design tripping hazards all over the station like this? It’s insane!
So her mission was delayed a day, and that evening Bashir visits Melora and he discovers 53 more things to do in near-zero gee.
Dax and Melora are now on the mission.
Heh, Vulcan music, and the thought of a logical species having the need for such creativity. I like the piece, and the fact that even Vulcans need music is perhaps ironically suggestive of the existence of God. Melora is asking Dax about the feasibility of relationships in Starfleet, clearly interested in something serious with Bashir.
Quark seeks Odo for assistance in not getting killed, and when Odo hears that Quark was threatened to be killed, He give us this:
A lovely smile. This is hilarious, because you have to remember that Odo *never* smiles. Odo does commit to doing his job, to his own dismay, which again reveals his high moral standards.
Dr. Bashir reveals to Melora that he can “fix” her “condition” so that she doesn’t need the wheelchair or servo motors to help her move, and she seems excited by that possibility.
Proboscis guy shows up in Odo’s office. I guess Odo wanted to dissuade him from killing Quark since he can’t arrest him for anything yet.
Bashir does the procedure on Melora and it seems to be working.
Proboscis guy shows up in Quarks quarters, attempts to kill Quark, but Quark convinces him not to do so immediately, by buying him off.
Melora starts to have second thoughts on the procedure, as it’s a one-way ticket. She can’t go back to her home again with the low gravity once she’s adjusted to earth normal gravity. Dax likens the situation to The Little Mermaid, which did NOT have a happy ending.
Quark is finishing off his business transaction from earlier to get the latinum to pay off his killer, when the killer turns a gun on them and demands the merchandise, too. Then we learn Rule of Acquisition #16: A deal is a deal. The other alien gets shot by the killer, who then takes money and the merchandise, Quark hostage and later Dax and Melora when they run into the pair as they are boarding from their runabout. They all take off in the runabout, the Orinoco, at gunpoint. The runabout is in a tractor beam, but he shoots Melora so they release the beam. Sisko, Bashir, and O’Brien pursue them through the wormhole with the Rio Grande runabout. Melora ends up saving them by turning off the gravity. She elects not to go through with the procedure, and discusses it with Bashir in the Klingon restaurant while they are somewhat humorously serenaded by the proprietor.
Final Grade: B-
This was an interesting episode with some decent action at the end. The issue of handicaps is interesting, and they didn’t really ram an opinion one way or another down our throats. However, in the fictional universe her decision not to go through with it does make a little more sense than in our world.